OK, so this isn’t exactly as festive as my last post but I’ve been interested in this for a while and I have the computer all to myself for a while so I thought I would look into it.
We all I know that the days of the week are named after certain Gods and planets and it seems that many cultures around the world have associated the same days, Gods, Goddess’ and planets.
I can’t be bothered to write out a proper article here because there will be a lot of info here, so I’ve basically done a web search and compiled it here.
I hope you find it interesting 🙂
Monday is Moon Day
Monday, evidently gets its name from the Moon, which in turn gets its name from Mani (Old English Mona), the Germanic Moon god. The names in Latin-based languages, Italian name (Lunedi), the Spanish name (Lunes), French name (lundi), and the Romanian name (Luni) come from the Latin name for Moon, luna.
The Russian derivation, eschews the pagan names, is понедельник
(poniediélnik), meaning “after Sunday.” In many Indian Languages, the word for Monday is Somvar, with Soma being the Sanskrit name for the moon. The Japanese word for Monday is getsuyōbi (月曜日) which means “day of the moon.”
Tuesday is Tyr’s Day ( Mars’ Day)
Tuesday comes from Middle English Twisday, from Old English Tiwes dæg, which is named after the Nordic god Tyr, the equivalent of the Roman war god Mars.
In Latin, it is called Martis dies which means “Mars’ Day”. In Romance languages except Portuguese, the word for “Tuesday” is like the Latin name: mardi in French, martes in Spanish, martedì in Italian, dimarts in Catalan, and marţi in Romanian. In India, Tuesday is called “Mangalvar”, for the Vedic planet Mangala or Mars.
Wednesday is Woden’s Day
Wednesday comes from the Old English Wēdnes dæg meaning Wōden’s Day. Wōden is the Old English form of the Proto-Germanic *Wōdanaz just as Óðinn (Odin) is the Norse form. Wednesday — Dies Mercurii to the Romans, with similar names in Latin-derived languages, such as the French Mercredi and the Spanish Miércoles. In English, this became “Woden’s Day”, since the Roman god Mercury was identified with Woden in northern Europe.
Thursday is Thor’s Day
The contemporary name comes from the Old English Þunresdæg, from influence of Old Norse Þorsdagr), meaning “Day of Thunor”, this is a rough Germanic equivalent to the Latin Iovis Dies, “Jupiter’s Day”. Most Germanic and Romance-speaking countries use their languages’ equivalents: German Donnerstag, torsdag in Scandinavia, Italian giovedì, Spanish jueves, French jeudi, Catalan dijous, and Romanian joi. Jupiter represents Thursday with similar names in Latin-derived languages, such as the French Jeudi. In English, this became “Thor’s Day,” since the Roman god Jupiter was identified with Thor in northern Europe.
Friday is Freyja’s Day
Friday comes from the Old English frigedæg, meaning the day of Frige the Anglo-Saxon form of Frigg, a West Germanic translation of Latin dies Veneris, “day (of the planet) Venus.” In most Germanic languages the day is named after Freyja—such as Frīatag in Old High German, Freitag in Modern German, Freyjudagr in Old Norse, Vrijdag in Dutch, Fredag in Swedish, Norwegian, and Danish—but Freyja and Frigg are frequently identified with each other.
In most of the Indian Languages, Friday is Shukravar (or a derived variation of Sukravar), named for Shukra, the Sanskrit name of the planet Venus.
Saturday is Saturn’s Day
Actually Saturday was named quite late on, being named no later than the second century for the planet (Saturn), The planet was named for the Roman god of agriculture Saturn. It has been called dies Saturni (“Saturn’s Day”), through which form it entered into Old English as Sæternesdæg and gradually evolved into the word “Saturday”.
Saturday is the only day of the week in which the English name comes from Roman mythology. The English names of all of the other days of the week come from Germanic mythology. In India, Saturday is Shanivar, based on Shani, the Vedic God manifested in the planet Saturn.
Sunday is Sun’s Day
It is named after Sunne, German goddess of the sun, from which the word sun is also derived.
In most of the Indian Languages, the word for Sunday is Adivar or Ravivar, with Adi (Ah’-Dee) or Ravi being the Sanskrit names for the Sun.